Standing Out from the Crowd
‘Jay shares thoughts on how ‘going the extra mile’ can make a positive difference in your life.’
It’s all about the extra effort. The deep driving desire to excel. When you commit yourself to ‘going the extra mile,’ your life makes a transformative, positive change. All of a sudden, you find that you can dig down deep and muster up the willpower to push beyond your limits. To overcome the tiredness and fatigue and truly be the best you can possibly be. And, when you do, the rewards are abundant. Increased self-confidence, self-discipline. And, most important, the distinction of standing out from the crowd. Not simply being satisfied to do ‘what is expected of you,’ but setting new standards of personal excellence.
As I am sure you have experienced, there’s often a lot demanded of us throughout a given day or week. Sometimes it’s fully understandable that after a long day or tough work week, we may just need a break. Yet there are also moments when we think we’re done with something, or maybe even ready to give up on something entirely, and instead of doing so, we decide to continue on. Typically, when we do put in that little extra effort, or go that extra mile as the idiom goes, the rewards are worth it. Going the extra mile in many cases is what lasting success often requires of us. It’s what makes the difference between meeting our goals or falling just short.
A business associate recently shared a story with me about going the extra mile that had me thinking just how important it can be, for ourselves and others. For the past month, his business had been having terrible wifi issues that were affecting the business. With all the disruptions we’ve already had over the past year, adding unstable internet into the mix wasn’t helping him recover. So, he called a few different companies to see if someone could come urgently to help fix the issues. After reaching out to multiple companies, with each one replying that they had too much on their plate and it would be a matter of weeks until they could find time, he felt like no one would be able to help him. That was until a technician from one of the companies, who had heard about his wifi troubles, gave him a call and said he was available to come ‘after hours’ to see what the problem was. Within a day, this friend of mine had the problem diagnosed, and within a week the technician had it fixed. As a result, he ended up offering the technician the opportunity to manage all of his businesses IT services. When I asked my friend why he had decided to offer the technician the job, he simply replied, “because he went the extra mile when no one else did.”
It’s interesting. We often don’t see the fruits of our labor. Many times, we’ll put in work and it may go unnoticed, perhaps leading us to think it’s unappreciated. However, whenever we put in a little extra effort, it can make all the difference, not only in the lives of others, but in our own lives. When we get in the habit of going the extra mile, we teach ourselves new things, learn important lessons, and maybe, like in the case of the technician, gain access to new opportunities. So, in moments when you feel doing a little more won’t make the difference, try. Whether it be at home or at work, apply this principle to everything you do. Not just because of what you can gain out of it from others, but to recognize that you’re almost certainly capable of doing much more than you think!
Thank You, Salvation Army and NH Union Leader Santa Fund!
We are now two weeks into the Christmas Season, and it’s so exciting! Storefronts across the Granite State are welcoming patrons while volunteers of the Salvation Army are spreading holiday joy – ringing bells and accepting generous donations. In NYC, members of the Salvation Army are taking over street corners where they sing, dance, and get people into the Christmas Spirit. These passionate volunteers are encouraging those in the community to give a little donation and help their neighbors as they have done dating back to the founding of the organization in 1865.
The red kettles we see every Christmas are actually a kettle of encouragement. The tradition of the kettles actually started in San Francisco as members of the community were encouraged by Salvation Army volunteers to help fill kettles with food so poorer members of the community could enjoy a hot meal on Christmas. Today, the mission is just as important and with over 20 million Americans suffering from food insecurity, the Salvation Army steps up to help the lives of the less fortunate be a bit better.
What an amazing cause and I thank all those who toss a dollar or two into the red kettles and am grateful to those who spend countless hours in the cold ringing the bells. Just as inspiring and playing a huge part in the effort of the NH Salvation Army Holiday drive, is the Santa Fund organized by the New Hampshire Union Leader.
For nearly 60 years, the New Hampshire Union Leader has sponsored the Santa Fund to support the efforts of the Salvation Army. In their first year they raised $1,000. Since that time, the effort has grown and has had enormous success. Through business support, community outreach and the loyal commitment of our community, the Santa Fund over the years has raised a total of $7.9 million. Well done and most appreciated!
A Reason For Freezin’ – Winter Running in NH
As perhaps you know, one of my favorite things to do is to go running – pretty much on a daily basis. It helps clear the mind and it’s a great form of exercise. But there is a special type of running that we like to do here in New Hampshire, running outside in the winter. While that may not sound like much fun to our readers in warmer climates, up here it is a real challenge that we embrace with pride. When the temperature is below freezing and the wind is blowing, it turns out that the running is not the greatest challenge. It is actually convincing yourself to get out there and push. When you first step outside and it is bone chillingly cold, no amount of clothing can save you from that initial shock, you only have one option - get moving.
And, there are so many similarities between this experience of ‘embracing the cold and getting moving’ and life itself. Often, it is tough at first, you may not want to do it, but you have to push and persevere to get where you want to go. When you are running outside in New Hampshire in the winter, at first it seems incredibly difficult and you question every step. The cold air hurts your lungs and your body wants to quit, but after the first mile, things begin to improve. All of a sudden, the air is not so painful, and your body begins to work like normal as it heats up. You find yourself ‘in flow.’
Actually, running outside in the winter in the Granite State turns out to be popular. Every year in New Hampshire we have “snowflake shuffles” and other outdoor races in January. In fact, I even recall running a 10k in North Sutton with my kids a number of years ago – known as the ’10 Below, 10k.’ And while it does take a little ‘getting used to,’ as avid runners we have all learned the same thing - that running outside in the winter seems crazy at first, but after you push yourself, it is well worth the experience. So, if you are up for it, please give it a try. If you wear warm clothes, and embrace the spirit, I’m certain that you will be glad that you did.
Positive Profile of the Week: Alexa Firman - Simply Delicious Bakery
I am always inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and especially so when I have an opportunity to enjoy watching the successful efforts of a young entrepreneur. With this mind, we are delighted this week to highlight Alexa Firman, founder of the Simply Delicious Bakery and Coffee Shop.
At 24 years of age, Alexa has accomplished more as a business owner then most of us will do in our lifetimes. She decided to take her passion for baking and open a bakery. Realizing first-hand that her hometown of Bedford, NH needed a coffee shop to bring people together, she took the initiative, acted on her insight and founded the Simply Delicious Bakery – shortly before the onset of Covid – back in December 2019. She has persevered and has made great strides forward despite the challenges of the pandemic.
Alexa is joined in this effort with her mom, who is wonderful partner in the success. Together, they are a duo – and truly unstoppable. Alex took her first cake decorating class at age 10 and she and has never looked back. Alexa received her formal training at the Culinary Institute of America and Blackberry Farm, and she is putting her education to great practice at the bakery. If you haven’t already visited, I urge you to give it a try. Stop by the Simply Delicious Bakery in Bedford. The bakery focuses on providing rustic baked goods made with simple organic ingredients - sourced locally and highlighting seasonal flavors. I promise – you won’t be disappointed. Alexa, we wish you continued success on your inspiring entrepreneurial journey?
Positive Quotes of the Week: Going the Extra Mile
“It’s never crowded along the extra mile.” — Wayne Dyer
“Going the extra mile is the calling card of greatness and it represents the wisest choice among many alternatives.” — Gary Ryan Blair
“One of the most important principles of success is developing the habit of going the extra mile.” — Napoleon Hill
“Why do I believe in going the extra mile? Because if I didn’t, the second-best version of myself would show up in my place.” — Shawn Anderson
“Everybody is standing, but you must stand out. Everybody is breaking grounds, but you must breakthrough! Everybody is scratching it, but you must scratch it hard! Everybody is going, but you must keep going extra miles! Dare to be exceptionally excellent, and why not?”
― Israelmore Ayivor